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Cleaning Up

I sit here looking at a bunch of sacks, filled with new clothes, and shaking my head. Do I wear the same thing all the time? Yes, that’s a fact. I’m a guy and I have a closet full (read: three) of the same outfits, all dark and grungy because in a city like Babbage, why would you bother putting on something that’ll just get filthy walking a block down the street? And yet those bags sit on the chair, reminding me of what I’m doing for a girl I didn’t know six months ago.

I think back to the evening when Miss Neko came into my shop. She was concerned that I, not being all that aristocratic (putting it lightly, I confess), may not be seen in the proper light when it comes to Bianca’s family. She specifically pointed out my clothing selection.

At first I dismissed it. Bianca is such a sweet young lady and she’d never made mention of my attire or really anything at all, aside from my apparently ‘salty’ language. Honestly, is “damn” and “hell” really all that bad? I’ve used (and still do if the mood strikes me) worse. Her father, Mr. Foehammer, didn’t seem the type to be wrapped up in outward appearances and I feel I’ve judged him quite fairly on that point. So naturally I thought nothing of it.

But just recently it came to my attention that she was becoming worried about living in “The Gut”. With the strange graffiti and the tough crowd that walks the streets she decided to tear down her auction house and relocate it. I made a quick job of putting up fencing for the next tenant when we noticed we were nearly boxed in. She made mention of it and I just grinned saying that I liked having her all fenced in with me. A completely innocent statement? Perhaps not but one I made in jest, I assure you.

And yet she said something that hit me in just the wrong way. Maybe Miss Neko’s statement had resonated a bit more than I had thought, but Bianca glared at me and said, “You’re such a cad, Scottie. I swear, sometimes…” The glare and tone was a bit mocking, and yet I detected an underlying seriousness. Any humor I had dropped and I pursued what she had said.

She waved it off, announcing that she wasn’t to such “crass” humor. Crass? She didn’t know the meaning of the word if that was the case. I was about to drop it though she giggled and smiled, my heart melting immediately. We were about to leave when she said, “I can’t expect too much of you anyway on that regard” and gave me a hug and started to walk out.

Wait, what? I put my hand on her shoulder gently to stop her and she turned and looked up at me with that smile. But I wasn’t letting it go now and pressed her on what she meant. “Oh darling,” she said, “in upbringing and age difference of course. I grew up under a silver spoon certainly…finishing schools, all that sort of thing. I can’t expect you to understand a lifestyle you’re not used too. The men I grew up with wouldn’t make lewd comments in public.” Lewd? I was lewd now?

I was about to vigorously argue the point when I stopped for a moment and thought about it. Not always, if ever, my style, I know. In this case I didn’t feel it was true but in the past? Maybe. Probably. Well, most certainly.

We spoke briefly about the differences in our upbringing, mine being working class until my father’s death, and I was content to stand right there and work out the issue until she stood on her tip-toes and kissed me softly. Even as miffed I was I couldn’t help but relent. We went on our way and spoke in general terms of the troubles in Babbage and the worries that weighed on her mind.

What surprises me more than the fact that she didn’t quite approve of my manner is that I’m now sitting here with these damned darned bags.

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